Green Light for Central Scotland’s largest woodland creation site

The Woodland Trust Scotland has recently completed the purchase of Maryland Farm a 240 hectare (600 acre) site, the first step towards creating the largest new native woodland on Glasgow’s doorstep at Lang Craigs.

The commanding craigs that lend the site its name dominate the landscape, while views from the upper slopes take in Loch and Ben Lomond, Overtoun’s Estate’s undulating treescape and the smooth waters of the Clyde. Situated just 12 miles from Glasgow and on the doorstep of Dumbarton, this snapshot of the Scottish landscape echoes the Highlands, but is infinitely more accessible, and the Woodland Trust Scotland has big plans for its future.

“Years of grazing have dulled much of its magnificence but offers fantastic opportunities for native woodland creation. Scotland is desperate for new native woodland - it is one of our best habitats for wildlife, but surprisingly, is a scarce resource with only 4% of native woodland cover across Scotland and less than two per cent in the lowland “explains Carol Evans, Director of the Woodland Trust Scotland.

She continues “Sites such as this rarely become available and our vision for the site is ambitious. We aim to plant 200,000 native trees such as Scots pine, rowan and birch, of which 50,000 will be planted by local school children and the public.”

The purchase marks the culmination of 18 months of fundraising, generously supported by the public and backed by some well known Scottish celebrities, including Harry Potter star, Robbie Coltrane, actress Elaine C Smith and TV personality Carol Smillie.

“Scotland’s forest and glens are among the world’s most beautiful. The work that the Woodland Trust is doing is invaluable, it will give Scotland’s children the chance to enjoy our wildlife and outdoors for generations to come.” Kirsty Young, TV and radio presenter.

In as little as 12 years this site, will be transformed into a flourishing young woodland providing a thriving home for wildlife and fantastic green space, ideal for family days out, rambling picnics or simply quiet contemplation, Lang Craigs will belong as much to the people as the wildlife who call it home.

The site will become the largest native woodland creation site, situated within the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN)1.

Lang Craigs has the potential to become an intrinsic part of the community; local people will be involved at every stage of the site’s evolution. Tree planting days will help forge a real connection with the growing woodland and children can use the various landscapes as outdoor classrooms that will change and grow over time.